Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has outlined a safety plan for the province which includes aims to increase the price of alcohol.

Before mentioning various interventions which include, “boots-on-the-ground”, violence prevention and amendments to the Western Cape Liquor Act, Winde said there is a war raging in the province’s communities, especially against women and children.

“We will confront the Western Cape’s dangerous relationship with alcohol through smart interventions. We will therefore be making a number of amendments to the Western Cape Liquor Act,” he said.

Winde explained that “per-unit-of-alcohol” pricing, which makes it more expensive to buy alcoholic beverages with a higher alcohol percentage, is being seriously considered with an aim to prevent binge drinking.

“We will also consider stricter times for the sale of alcohol, even after the expiry of the national state of disaster regulations,” he added.

As part of the Western Cape government’s boots-on-the-ground commitment, Winde said 500 Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) officers has been deployed to crime hotspot areas.

“We will stick with our plans to deploy an additional 500 officers thereafter. We will also not walk-back on our commitment that we will halve the provincial murder rate in the Western Cape in a decade.”

Winde said the provincial government will also upscale Gender Based Violence (GBV) services, with six new shelters, and start work on a dedicated GBV strategy.

According to ANC Western Cape Shadow MEC for Community Safety, Mesuli Kama, there is nothing new about Winde’s plan.

“Gangs are running amok in our communities. The premier could only say that the plans to train and deploy additional 500 boots on the ground is still on track,” he said.
About the liquor amendments Kama said, “The most striking proposal for me was the plans to increase liquor prices. The premier is looking into the idea of raising liquor prices. This shows that the Western Cape government is targeting the poor to raise funds through sin tax. The premier has a problem with poor people enjoying themselves in alcohol.”
He added, “While we are aware of alcohol harms, we have a policy in the province dealing with alcohol harms reduction. He must implement that strategy and stop targeting poor people.”
Journalist with a passion for people. Strives to be lekke. Motto: Eats gatsby one bite at a time.